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<br />Financial Planning - Is it for you?

Financial Planning - Is it for you?

For decades, generations of Americans were schooled in how to market one's labor – getting paid in return for the value delivered on the job. Yet not much schooling on what to do with the monies earned. 

Financial Planning is all about income.  Avoid conversations about yields, risk and total returns until you've embraced this concept. Income is what must be created to support a person's life style - or standard of living.

Since the advent of capitalism, there only two ways to create wealth.

  1.  Earnings – wages paid; commissions earned, etc.
  2.  Invested capital – working for you. Investments such as equity in a business – private or public, real estate, commodities, credit, etc. 

Sooner or later, wage income ends and one looks to the balance sheet – for capital accumulated over time...with the purpose to replace discontinued wages. 

The term 'target capital' represents the goal (expressed in dollars and after consideration for inflation and taxes) required to support the income to support the standard of living.

It begs the question:  how many years do I have to accumulate enough capital to produce the dollar amount of income I need, desire and dream of ..until I'm gone? 

That is the essence of financial planning. Create a balance sheet and an income statement. These are your go-to navigational tools. Revisit the same snapshot one year later. If you can explain the changes that occurred, you have launched the process. Rinse and repeat annually. In a few years, you'll begin to look and think in a more forward direction about your family's wealth.

A person should be able to identify clearly what to expect from a financial adviser using this simple approach.